Recently, NASA’s Perseverance rover has made a significant discovery. On June 23, 2023, it captured an image of an unusually large, doughnut-shaped rock, likely a meteorite, with a prominent hole in its centre. This discovery, as shared by the SETI institute, was accompanied by several smaller rocks of similar colour.

Such odd rock formations are not new to Mars; past and present Mars rovers have encountered other strange shapes. Earlier this year, a structure resembling a bear’s face was found. This consisted of two craters that acted as the eyes and a V-shaped collapsed hill that formed what could be interpreted as a snout. Researchers suggested that the formation was due to a deposit settling over a buried impact crater, while the snout-like structure might have originated from a volcanic or mud vent.

NASA’s Curiosity rover also detected a shiny metallic rock, potentially an iron-nickel meteorite, in February. Located near Mars’ Mount Sharp, the rock, aptly named ‘Cacao’, was in an area believed to have been a large crater in Mars’ ancient past. Even more peculiarly, the Curiosity rover had previously discovered a rock formation that looks like an ‘alien doorway.’


Other notable discoveries include the ‘Egg Rock’ in 2016 and a 7-foot-long meteorite christened ‘Lebanon’ in 2014.

While the doughnut-shaped rock might not be evidence of extraterrestrial doughnut shops, it certainly reflects our innate drive to seek meaning, even millions of miles from home.

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